07729965231 rebecca@purple-rain.co.uk

Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend

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  • Farmers who are hosting visitors to the farms for this year's Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend taking part in a training day for the event, at Greenmount Agricultural College. Pic Cliff Donaldson

  • The search is on! Barclay Bell, Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend Chairman, Ann Cromie, Bank of Ireland UK Senior Sponsorship & Development Manager and John Best, Food NI Chairman, begin the search to find farms willing to open their gates and fields to participate in Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend 2016.

  • Nigel Logan from Hillstown Farm, Randalstown, is one of the 23 farms taking part in Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend 2016

  • Barclay Bell from the Ulster Farmers' Union and Joe McDonald from Asda looking over some of the local produce on display at Asda's superstore on the Shore Road, Belfast. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

  • Janet and Ronnie Cochrane, Cochrane's Potatoes, is one of the 23 farms taking part in Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend 2016

  • Helen Troughton, left, from Armagh Apple Farm is one of the 23 farms taking part in Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend 2016

  • Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend promotion at St George's Market, May 2016

  • Agriculture minister Michelle McIlveen visiting William Orr's potato farm at Crossgar during Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

  • Agriculture minister Michelle McIlveen visiting William Orr's potato farm at Crossgar during Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

  • 11 Aug 2016, Grow Make Eat Drink Awards 2016, at Ramada Hotel, Belfast - Ulster Farmers Union president Barclay Bell, centre, with some of the award winners.

  • 7 Sept 2016 - Appreciation evening at Greenmount for farmers who hosted visitors during the Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend, in June.

  • Picture: Cliff Donaldson

  • John and Simon Best with sponsors of Open Farm Weekend. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

  • Simon Best showing visitors around his Poyntzpass farm. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

  • Kelly Adams, from White's Oats. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

  • Host farmers Mark Troughton and Hannah Rodgers with bottles of their home-made cider. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

  • All aboard the farm 'taxi' for a look around Armagh Apple Farm. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

  • Doesn't bite.... Caleb McCartney, from Aghalee, and mum Sheena making friends with chicks at Foote Farm, Lisburn. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

  • Scarecrow-making lessons underway on the Sainsbury's stand at Foote Farm, Lisburn. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

  • Open Farm Week launch, with Asda. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

  • Barbecue for host farmers taking part in the 2017 Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend, at Greenmount Agricultural College. Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Purple Rain was delighted to be awarded the contract to project manage Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend in December 2015.

The initiative, which takes place annually in June, seeks to get members of the public onto working farms to have a greater appreciation of where their food comes from. A range of farms take part from all across Northern Ireland showcasing the various sectors including dairy, beef, cereal, poultry and fruit farming. Running since 2012, the free event has become popular with families and has a strong following on Facebook.

Schools are also invited to visit the farms so children can learn outside of the traditional classroom how food is produced as the farmers teach them about modern farming practices. Teachers have found the visits informative and a great day out for their pupils.

Project management involves farm recruitment, farmer training, farm signage, publicity, social media management, sponsorship liaison, schools programme management, budget planning and evaluating visitor feedback. The event is run by a steering group made up of different food and farming industry representatives that meets regularly to  discuss and confirm activity and plans.

Bank of Ireland Open Farm Weekend is delivered by the Ulster Farmers’ Union and is principally sponsored by Bank of Ireland UK and supported by The Prince’s Countryside Fund, NFU Mutual, and Asda. The weekend would not be possible without the help and resources of Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster, CAFRE, DEARA, the Northern Ireland Food and Drink Association, Food NI and the Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme.

The event won Best Food/Drink Promotion by a festival/event at the 2016 GrowMakeEatDrink Awards run by the News Letter and Johnson Press. It was also shortlisted in the Belfast Telegraph Year of Food and Drink Awards held at the Culloden Hotel in February 2017.

 

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